Satire, Quran and quiz on bookshelf

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2011, 08:46 AM IST

New Delhi: A meltdown tale of loss and battle, stories of India`s three heroines, a compilation of over 1,000 questions and essays arguing for equitable globalization, the books this week are meaningful and thought-provoking.

1. Book: "Jack Patel`s Dubai Dreams"; Written by P.G. Bhaskar; Published by Penguin India; Priced at Rs.150.

Jaikishan Patel belongs to a traditional Gujarati family but follows his passion of stepping into the glamorous jet-setting world of investment and private banking.

Jaikishan is soon transformed into Dubai-based Jack Patel; a hugely successful financial advisor in an American brokerage firm. He cracks a million dollar revenue target and manages to keep up with the latest Bollyood target number. But just when life seems perfect, recession hits the world economy and his world begins to fall apart -- a meltdown tale of loss and battle.

2. Book: "The Essential Koran"; Translated and compiled by Thomas Cleary; Published by Harper Collins India; Priced at Rs.199

"If God helps you, then no one can overcome you, if god forsakes you, who could help you then, so let the believers put their trust in god," says the Quran.

For Muslims, the whole of Quran is sacred, but there are certain passages which are most accessible to those seeking from outside to understand the meaning. The translation makes god`s messages easy to understand by summing up their essence in small axiomatic verses. A gripping compilation of truths....

3. Book: "Three Indian Princes: The Stories of Savitri, Damayanti and Sita"; Written by Jamila Gavin; Published by Walker Books/Pan Macmillan; Priced at Rs.400.

Indian myths set in the royal courts of earth and heaven are pot-boilers of intrigues, jealousies, romance, valour, melodrama and sacrifice. The writer re-tells the stories of India`s three heroines - whom time has failed to wither.

Savitri wrenched Satyavan, her man, from Yama with the ferocity of devotion, an Indian value held precious in homes of married couples. Damayanti fights a curse of the evil demon Kali, who wanted the princess as its bride and took her away from her mate Nala. Damayanti signifies patience, courage and an avenging zeal to win - three virtues that set Indian women apart from their peers elsewhere. Sita as Lord Rama`s wife is the symbol of sacrifice.

4. Book: "The Best of Cadbury`s Bournvita Quiz Contest"; Compiled by quizmaster Derek O` Brien; Published by Penguin-Puffin; Priced at Rs.175.

Did you know which Indian prime minister made a brief appearance in the 1977 movie "Chala Murari Hero Banne"? It`s Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The mind game started a radio quiz programme in 1972 and went on to become one of the most sought-after school quizzes in the country.

The quiz has returned to television on popular demand this year; and with it - quiz master Derek O` Brien, who has compiled 1,000 questions from one of the country`s most popular game show in the volume.

5. Book: "Tracking Globalisation: Debates on Development, Freedom and Justice"; Anthology edited by J.S. Sodhi; Priced at Rs.499

As India, one of the world`s fastest-growing economies, races towards becoming a major world power, the all-too-familiar disadvantages and drawbacks like extreme poverty, poor governance and, more importantly, difficult international markets hold the country back.

The one issue that needs to be addressed today is how India and other less developed nations can achieve the full growth potential. The essays drawn from lectures by several intellectuals and planners over time paint the current international scenario and argues for equitable globalization.

IANS

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